Contentment

The ever-present quest for more, more, more is so frustrating to me.  Christmastime advertising bombards us with the message, “you need THIS” to make your Christmas perfect.  And it’s not just this time of year; it seeps into every moment, all the time.

On one hand, I feel like most of the time, my desires are fairly reasonable.  I mean, I try to look for low prices on just about everything I buy.  I get my hair highlighted, but only twice a year.  I generally try to fix meals at home rather than going out to eat.  I drive the least expensive vehicle I can drive and feel safe on the road.  I shop at resale places for baby clothes and toys, or use hand-me-downs.

On the other hand, I possess WAY more stuff than I truly need.  I could easily give away at least half of my things and get along perfectly well.

I know there are plenty of Americans who spend more extravagantly than I do in many areas. (Watching Say Yes to the Dress always makes me feel good, as it reminds me how inexpensive my wedding dress, as well as my entire wedding, was compared to those women’s.) But does that make my spending levels acceptable?  Shouldn’t I base my buying decisions on my actual needs and not on comparisons I make between myself and anyone else?

Any expense can be rationalized, right?

I need these new clothes so that I can appear professional at my job.

That vacation is the only time my family gets to be together, so it’s okay to spend more on it.

We should get these fancy dishes because we’ll be more likely to invite people over for dinner.

If we go out to dinner and a movie to unwind after a hard week at work, it’ll help us to be more productive the next week.

When do we reach the point where we finally can sit back and say, “Enough”?

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